41 of the biggest winners at this year's Melbourne Cup

What stops a gathering of fashionable elites, celebrities and their plus ones quicker than a horse race? The chance to pose for a photo, even if it's a selfie.

Especially if it's a selfie.

For all its controversies, the Melbourne Cup remains a ripper day out, cramming together a fascinating cross-section of Australia in the one place. A walk down the infamous Millionaire's Row inside The Birdcage is akin to stepping through the looking glass into a world of privilege where the gaudy new guard drink alongside those rusted-on race lovers whose prime reason for being there is taking home a financial return.

Add a couple of pollies, some athletes, a handful of influencers and a scrum of media sniffing about for a story and you've got the makings of a celebration like no other.

Insta-men

​There's no denying that these days the boys are just as keen to get their picture taken as their female companions. The impact of social media has seen plenty of lads who once may have had a slight stumble to their step by the day's end swapping the champagne for water in an attempt to keep up a sharp appearance.

And for the most part, this year's guests at the various marquees have done the team proud with plenty of men taking up the challenge to really show some flair when it comes to expressing their personal style.

But there were some curious speed humps that marred the smooth sailing that was the majority of well-dressed gents.

Style untied

Last year, the biggest hoohah was the announcement that blokes entering the Members Enclosure were finally allowed to go sock free. A minor detail for the mainstream, but a big deal for the VRC who in the past have been known to turn away guests for not being appropriately attired.

Fast forward to 2018 and the gents are determined to push the envelope as far as they can in the name of fashion. Or comfort. Or simple ignorance of what's expected from the Cup's strict sartorial standards.

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Socks were ditched, lace was rocked, and flashy embellishments and accessories were embraced – but it was the absence of ties that stood out for all the wrong reasons on several men, such as Nick "still a bachelor" Cummins.

A major faux pas

Deep in the recesses of the G.H. Mumm marquee, Cummins had the look of a man nursing a Bintang at a beachside bar in Bali. Not quite the sophistication required for the sport of kings. Points for the hat, though.

It was a similar story down at newbie Bumble, full of bright-eyed young things swiping left and right, where a handful of lads seemed to have left the finishing touch of their suit at home.

Fair call – I'm told that once you're passed the Members area and inside The Birdcage you're the property of the marquee and the requirement for a tie becomes contextual.

The more things change...

But like trying to enjoy a warm beer, turning up to the Melbourne Cup and deliberately not wearing a tie feels a little wrong. Then again, the same was once said about not wearing any socks so who's to say what we can expect next year.

And we look forward to being there to find out.

Take a look at the gallery above to see those who won the style stakes at this year's Melbourne Cup.